9 Tips for DIY Bathroom Remodel on a Budget (and 6 Décor Ideas)

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We purchased our homestead a little over a half a decade ago. That sounds like a really long time ago. Time has flown. We have gained a ton of knowledge and made a lot of mistakes too.

Our biggest challenge has been remodeling our home.

When we purchased the land, it came with a house that had been foreclosed on twice, and understandably, deemed uninhabitable. So we made some quick repairs so we could move in, but we have been on a journey ever since to turn this skeleton of a house into our home.

So I want to share with you how you can remodel your bathroom on a very tight budget.Believe me, it can be done because we have had nothing to work with besides a tight budget.

This how you accomplish it:

1. DIY Is Your Friend

DIY is your friend when you are on a budget. So you need to understand that if you plan on sticking to a tight budget you are going to have to take this task on yourself. Now, understand that I am not telling you to do anything dangerous (like electrical work) if you are totally inexperienced.

What I am suggesting is that if the task is not dangerous then you need to teach yourself how to do it.

Hopefully, you’ll have enough money in the budget to pay for the things that need to be done that you simply cannot do.

Or maybe you’ll find someone around you that knows how to do them.

But I digress, for the tasks at hand that you can easily learn how to do take advantage of the internet. There are many sites (like this one) that can help you learn how to do many of the things you need to know when remodeling a bathroom.

And when all else fails, don’t forget about YouTube.

2. Save It All

When you begin gutting your bathroom remember to be careful. I realize that you might not be able to save it But you can save some of the fixtures and other reusable items in a bathroom.

Whatever you save, is less than if you have to buy later on.

So take a scan of your bathroom before gutting it. Create a checklist and decide what you will need when remodeling.

And whatever you have already in your bathroom that is salvageable then save it.

3. Buy Second Hand

What about all of those other items on your remodel checklist that you don’t have or that aren’t salvageable?

Well, start scouring Craigslist and local yard sale pages, my friend.

We did this when remodeling our children’s bathroom. And we found a basically brand new pedestal sink. Our boys’ bathroom is smaller so we needed a smaller sink.

So this was a great deal for us. And we only paid $25 for it. We did the same for our bathroom sink. I wanted a rustic look in our bathroom.

And my husband went online and found a local yard sale page. We bought an old cast iron sink for less than $20 that just needed to be reglazed. I was very happy.

So yes, secondhand means you have to do a little more research. But if it can save you a lot of money (which it usually can) then it is totally worth the effort.

4. Shop For A Budget Friendly Toilet


When replacing old fixtures, don’t feel like you have to buy the latest and greatest. In fact, if you can’t or don’t want to buy things second hand, then it is a good option to shop for the best value for your money.

And shopping ‘green’ often helps with that. If you find a low-flow toilet they are often a great choice. Because as they are saving you water, they are also saving you money.

So start browsing. And don’t feel like you have to always shop at your local home department stores. Did you know that you can actually purchase a toilet from Amazon? (Yes! Amazon!)

And we’ve actually created a buyer’s guide for you here to help you find the most efficient low-flow toilet.

5. Build Your Own Shower

When we gutted our bathrooms, we did two different things. In our children’s bathroom, it was going to cost us entirely too much to replace their bathtub.

And I’ll be totally transparent with you. When we took on their bathroom remodel, we had $600. Considering a new bathtub inset was over $700, it was obviously out of our budget. So instead, we cleaned their tub really well. Then we replaced their shower walls with tin. And gave them new shower fixtures.

However, for our bathroom, we had to do a little more. My husband is a large man. Like, he is literally almost 6’9”.

So when we moved into a house that had a stand-up shower that he couldn’t wash his feet in, it had to go.

And what we did was pulled the old shower out and built a new one. We accomplished this by purchasing a shower pan (like this one). My husband did all of the plumbing himself.

Then, we used the same tin idea for our shower walls. It is hard to beat when we purchased each piece of tin for $12 a sheet. However, we were able to salvage our shower fixtures. And just like that, we had a new, larger, and functional shower for less than $500.

And as a word of caution, I do recommend using the tin walls for your shower. It gives your bathroom a really neat rustic look. But the only struggle with them is cleaning soap scum. So when installing them be sure to spray Rain-X on them so the soap scum will bead and run right off of your shower walls.

And yes, I wish someone had told me this prior.

Instead, I now spray my shower walls with PAM cooking spray and it removes the soap scum for me. Just a few cleaning tips if you decide to go with that as a shower wall option.

6. Build Your Own Counter Tops and Cabinets

We are very fortunate that my brother-in-law works for a lumber yard. So any of the wood scraps that they can’t use at the mill they send home with their workers.

And we always manage to trade something we have for wood.

But even if you don’t have someone that works at a lumber yard in your immediate family, you can still usually build for less than you can buy.

So if you are on a tight budget and need to remodel a bathroom, I recommend that you build your own counter tops and cabinets. Wood is fairly inexpensive and with the right plans, you can have the bathroom of your dreams built in no time.

But there are other options in the event that you don’t want to build everything. You can actually find an old dresser and transform it into a bathroom vanity. We actually did this in our children’s bathroom, and they are very satisfied with it.

7. Shop The Clearance Aisle For Paint

We just remodeled our kitchen a few months ago. And I about fell over when I found out how much paint was.

But since we were DIYing ourselves to death to remodel our kitchen for less than $1,000, I splurged and paid regular price for paint.

However, most hardware stores have an aisle of mismatched paint. It is basically paint that was mixed differently than expected and the store couldn’t sell it.

So instead of tossing it, they deeply discount it. And this is great news for you because you might find a decent color of paint that you can buy at a third of what it normally costs.

And this equates to a lot of money saved.

Or you could even take it one step further and make your own paint.

8. Make Your Own Floors


You might be thinking, “What?!?” But it is true. You can actually make your own floors.

And I only know this because I did it. Yes, again in my kitchen. I told you I was DIYing myself to death.

But it worked out so well. We have remodeled our boys’ bathroom, but we haven’t been able to finish our bathroom yet (only the shower.)

However, since using these floors in my kitchen, I want them everywhere. Here is how you make your own plywood floors.

And my reasons for wanting them everywhere are simple:

  • They are cheap and easy to make.
  • They are easy to clean (and if whitewashed, hide a lot of dirt.)
  • They are cheap to replace.

So instead of going for tile or other prefabricated floors, why not consider making your own? You might be surprised at how much money you can save in the process.

9. DIY Your Décor

If you go to the store and purchase all of your décors, you are going to spend a small fortune. So use these tips instead:

Shop online:

Purchasing bathroom décor online can often save you a lot of money because you are able to shop around and get the best deal. And some online vendors can simply get better deals.

Make it yourself:

There are so many different ideas online on how to make many cute bathroom décor items. So save yourself a ton of money and try to create these items yourself.

Here are some items you might want to consider making yourself:

1. DIY Mason Jar Organizer


I love this organizer. It is actually one of the items I’m planning on putting in my master bathroom once we get the opportunity to finish it. And it is a great way to keep things like cotton balls, Q-tips, and even makeup brushes organized and out of your way.

2. DIY Soap Dispenser



We actually used this idea in our children’s bathroom. It was a great way to help them keep clean hands while not having to have a soap bottle sitting around. And this was very affordable because since we preserve our own food, we had plenty of Mason jars on hand.

3. A Hanging Shelf



This is a really pretty hanging shelf. And what makes it even better is that it can be made for around $10.

So if you’d like to have an extra storage space in your bathroom for hygiene storage or even decorations then this option should be very affordable.

4. DIY Bath Sign


Wouldn’t you love to have a sign that would immediately tell guest where the bathroom is? If so, then consider this DIY as part of your bathroom décor.

And what makes it so great (beyond the fact that it is DIY) is that it looks very appealing. And would fit in great with almost any bathroom décor.

5. Upgrade Your Light Switches


One thing that stunned me when we were redoing our bathroom was how expensive the small items were. Things that you rarely consider like an A/C register or a light switch cover.

Well, don’t waste money in your budget on a light switch cover. Instead, you can quickly add an inexpensive picture frame or another household item around it to frame it out. It looks fresh and new. And best of all, it didn’t cost you a fortune.

Well, those are my ideas that will hopefully help you to successfully remodel your bathroom on a very tight budget.

But I’d love to hear any pointers you may have. So tell me, how have you remodeled a bathroom on a super tight budget?

We love hearing from you guys. So please leave your comments in the space provided below.

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